Sunday, June 28, 2009

RICH in Relationships

One quality of Brazil that I truly love is the VALUE of RELATIONSHIPS.

Brazilians take time with one another to talk, share and often place relationship with one another as a high priority.
Although I do not have an abundance of earthy treasures, my life here in Brazil is RICH in relationships! Relationships really have NO PRICE...
Relationship with God and with one another is so important. Loving and investing in one another.
I want to live a life RICH in RELATIONSHIPS!

RELATIONSHIP with the CHILDREN from the SLUM
Currently there are 15 special children who participate in the children's group I co-lead with my friend Beckie from England. Beckie is a great blessing as a co-leader and each child in the group is truly unique and special. I often can feel God's heart of LOVE and JOY as we pray and work with the children and their families.

I delight in these children and can only imagine how much MORE our Father God delights in each precious one.

Here is Beckie, a volunteer from Germany named Annika and I with our amazing and SUPER special kids!

This year we have really been focusing on literacy with our children. Now that I am more fluent in Portuguese I am able to read more stories to the kids. Here is a photo of me reading one of my favorite children's books, The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein. First we read the story together and then we acted it out with the tree, various props and puppets. The kids LOVED it!

I really love the story, The Giving Tree because it is a story about relationships and makes me think about GOD. The main character- the tree is a lot like our Father God. He delights in spending time with us and having relationship with us... just as the Giving Tree in the story delights in the boy, loves to spend quality time him and also loves to see the boy happy. We taught truths about GOD'S LOVE using this great book!

Here we are acting out the story!
During our weekly center time the children drew and wrote about their favorite part of the story
A Avore Generosa .
I love to see these children reading and enjoying learning! They are really improving!

She is a SUPER reader!


RELATIONSHIP with PASTORS from the COMMUNITY

This year the Light House Community center has been working to unite and build relationships between the pastors in the slum. We know that GOD longs to see His children united, loving each other and working together. The Light House, as a ministry along, with these pastors are working together to bring the message of a loving and transforming Savior to the many hurting and needy families in the community.

This photo was taken last Saturday at a Pastor's prayer breakfast/fellowship. All these in the photo have the priviledge of being pastors here in the slum. The Light House is hosting a community prayer breakfast (once a month) for pastors and churches to unite to pray for Cafezal slum and to work together to see God's kingdom come to this special place.


RELATIONSHIP with my YWAM FRIENDS!

We recently had a BIG JUNE party as a Youth With a Mission base. Our YWAM base consists of many different ministries located throughout the city of Belo Horizonte and we unite together each week to fellowship and worship God. A few weeks ago we had a party to worship God through being in relationship with one another!

Not only were there YWAM staff members present at this party, but also some of the children we work also participated! Here is a photo of the leader of the Refuge Shelter, Carla - from Holland, dancing with one of the special boys who live at the shelter. He absolutely LOVED the party!
This is a traditional party in Brazil held in June and is called June Party or Festa Junina. People dress in clothing -from the country side of Brazil, there is dancing, a bonfire, games, prizes, and food from the north of Brazil.

Below is a photo of a few friends - the leader of the Rescue house, a boy recently going through a triage at the Rescue House- soon to live at the YWAM Restortaion House, and a staff member of the Restoration House boy's shelter.
Meet Ian - Felipe's best friend and co-leader here at the Light House Community Center. Ian is from South Africa and does an excellent job of managing the administration of the Light House. Ian will be Felipe's best man in our wedding. These guys were playing around at the party!

Below is a photo of me and my dear dear friend Rosangela.
She is a blessing in my life and she works together with us here at the Light House Community Center. God is using her in amazing ways to impact so many hurting girls in the slum. Rosangela is from Rio de Janiero and she is one of my bridesmaids in our wedding coming up soon!

Felipe and I enjoying dancing at the party. Everyone was having a great time dancing! We were all dancing a Brazilian country line dance that is typical at this June Party!

Felipe and I actually danced together at this same party last year when we were both beginning to like each other.... but we both did not know this!

RELATIONSHIP with my FUTURE HUSBAND...
I am thankful and feel blessed to have Felipe in my life and by my side! He is a faithful friend who demonstrates SO MUCH of the love of God to me. God continually uses Felipe to teach me valuable TRUTHS about the heart and character of God.

We are VERY excited about marrying soon on Friday August 7, 2009 and starting the next season of our life together. We both feel God has called us to love and serve one another and also to love and serve children who live in at risk situations.

Pray for us as we continue on this journey of knowing God and making Him known!

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